This week’s top wines.

2014 Gerard Raphet Charmes Chambertin

Red Burgundy  |  Grand Cru

IMG_6973Wine Spectrum 96: Raphet wines are a Burgundy-lover’s Burgundy. They are best appreciated by those already familiar with the light color and earthy flavors of classic Burgundian Pinot Noir. Always a sexy, supple wine, this vintage is no exception. A concentrated wine with plenty of fruit the aromas lift out of the glass to greet you. The minute long finish rewards those who let it develop in the glass. We call it “An iron fist with a velvet glove” This is a fantastic representation of great grand Cru Burgundy.


2014 Domaine Bouard-Bonnefoy ‘Maltroie’ Chassagne Montrachet

White Burgundy  |  1er Cru

IMG_6971Wine Spectrum 96: Bouard is one of the smallest estate bottlers in Burgundy’s village of Chassagne-Montrachet. And by small, we mean 20 barrels, as in 500 cases of wine. Thankfully he has another source of income: his pension from the Groupe de Sécurité de la Présidence de la République, the French secret service agency responsible for guarding the President. In the 1980s, Fabrice’s job was to keep François Miterrand in one piece. Today his stress level is considerably lower.

In the heart of Chassagne Montrachet, this Premiere Cru White Burgundy is light on palate and develops into the mid palate with a long finish. Hints of dried grapefruit seamless and balanced on the finish. Only 18 cases imported. 

2014 Delarache Pernand Vergelesses ‘Sous Fretille’

White Burgundy  |  1er Cru

IMG_6970Wine Spectrum 95: Sous Fretille effortlessly balances sumptuous flesh with mineral poise, displaying an almost red-wine complexity on the nose and palate. Aromas are abundant and rich, with suggestions of white peaches and pears with some chalk dust and crushed stones. Bold and flavorful, with good structure and a broad sweep of fresh yet saturated white fruits and small red berries. A long mineral finish with citrus passion fruit and coconut. The vines for this wine are at the highest elevation of the vineyard and boarders Chassagne-Montrachet. Only 24 cases. 


2014 Clos du Caillou VV Cuvée Unique

Red Rhone Blend  |  Côtes du Rhône

imgresWine Spectrum 94+: This is the best value in the Southern Rhone. This estate should be in the Chateauneuf de Pape but due to a conflict with the owner in the 30s they share the land but not the designation. Caillou wines are Rhône blends at their most intense. The wines stand out for their concentrated flavors, which are mouth-filling yet balanced. Other regional wineries try to achieve this balance, yet wind up with cloying, heavy wines with muted flavors. The focus on old-vine Grenache as the cornerstone of Caillou’s red blends showcases Grenache’s raspberry and red plum flavors. Warming yet never heavy, the wines share the signature southern Rhône aromas of lavender and incense.

2014 Domaine Bouard-Bonnefoy St Aubin ‘Charmois’

White Burgundy  |  1er Cru

IMG_6972Wine Spectrum 94+: A gorgeous nose of vanilla, baked bread with a hint of fruit. Light in weight, this hidden secret has great acidity and minerality on the palate. An epically long finish. The “Charmois” vineyard touches premier cru “Chaumes” in Chassagne; the terroir here is virtually identical. 

Only 24 cases.


2013 Silver Ghost

Cabernet Sauvignon  |  Napa Valley

cabWine Spectrum 94: A striking Cabernet Sauvignon crafted from some of the finest vineyards in Rutherford, St. Helena and Pope Valley.  Complex, dark fruit aromas of black cherry, blueberry, and cassis burst from the glass along with toast, smoked herbs, and coffee. On the palate, this wine reveals phenomenal purity and opulent fruit with lush and well-integrated tannins supporting a rich texture and depth that continue through the long finish.

It is difficult to find Napa Valley Cabernet that offer both pedigree and value. Winemaker Weston Eidson has accomplished that rare feat with his Silver Ghost Napa Cabernet Sauvignon — a wine that demonstrates inside and out his devotion to quality, great taste and entrepreneurial talent. Perhaps it runs in the family: with the name “Silver Ghost”, Weston pays tribute to his great grandfather, British Lord John Montagu, who helped to launch the 1909 Silver Ghost Rolls Royce. 

With quality and balance as his goal, Weston sources fruit for Silver Ghost from some of the finest vineyards in Napa, combining lush valley floor fruit with high-elevation grapes that lend structure to the wine. In the winery Weston ferments 25% of the fruit in barrel to soften tannins—a practice common among higher priced Cabernets such as those from Colgin, Harlan, and Calluna—and the other 75% in stainless steel to retain the purity of fruit. The wine is then aged 24 months in French Oak, 50% of which is new—another quality measure that often comes in wines with a higher price tag.

2012 Capture ‘Alliance’

Red Blend  |  Spring Mountain

Alliance.4Wine Spectrum 94:  Crafted by winemaker Graham Weerts, formerly of Stonestreet, the 2012 Alliance invokes the nature of the adventurous explorer, showcasing lesser-known mountain vineyards and bringing them to life. Captivating elements that are both delicate and robust, this vintage comes from the mountain vineyard high upon Spring Mountain in Napa Valley, ranging from 1,100 to 1,900 feet in elevation. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels, this Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc reveals perfumed notes of fresh violet and blackberry that culminate in a distinctive, silky finish with elegant, smooth tannins.


2013 94574 Brand

Sauvignon Blanc  |  Rutherford

homemainWine Spectrum 93: Mango, papaya, lichee and honeydew melon fruit aromas with rich layers of lemon curd and vanilla. The rich fruit continues onto the palate with notes of bosc pear and fuji apple which mingle with the balanced acidity for a long crisp finish. 100% Sauvignon Blanc 405 cases produced.

94574 Brand – named for St. Helena’s zip code – aims to make hand crafted, single vineyard sourced wines, produced in the style they feel best expresses the character of that fruit.  Their Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from the San Mateo Ranch in the heart of the Rutherford AVA in Napa Valley. This loamy rich soil is perfectly suited for growing intense, flavorful sauvignon blanc. This organically farmed vineyard achieves optimal hang time and flavor development while the deeper soils allow the grapes to hold on to the natural acidity.

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